If you haven't guessed by now, I'm all about the simplicity when it comes to summer cooking (and eating, of course). Even for me, the kitchen is typically the last place I want to be when the temperature soars and the beach is calling my name. On top of all that, my usually sturdy appetite tends to disappear thanks to the sweltering heat and lack of culinary ambition, anyone else?
That's why I love super simple and yet versatile dinners like this Pesto Romano Bean & Cherry Tomato Salad with Burrata Cheese. Let me explain.
Meals like this one:
1. Require little to no time in the kitchen (while I blanch the beans in the recipe below you can absolutely skip this step and use them raw);
2. Are easy to switch up depending on my appetite or what's in the fridge. For instance, if you want some more substance, toss in some white beans or rotisserie chicken for a more hearty meal. Can't find burrata cheese? Use a good fresh mozzarella instead. Simple swaps that require little to no thinking are the key to a less stressful relationship with the kitchen.
3. Highlight the wonderful bounty of the season - beans! tomatoes! basil! Using the best ingredients means you need to do very little to have a delicious meal and who can't get down with that?
4. Legit this meal is ready in NO TIME. That means when hunger does strike, you can casually stroll into your kitchen post beach/pool/lounging in the AC and have dinner on the table before you reach for the takeout menu.
Now, you may be asking about these Romano beans I speak of in this recipe. Don't worry, if you can't find them you can absolutely use green beans or even snap peas which are in season right now. Romano beans, however, are truly a great find if you spot them though! They are an Italian flat bean and are a type of snap pea which means you can eat the entire pod - no need for shelling! They're great raw as a snack or simply grilled with a squeeze of lemon juice and crumbled feta so definitely keep an eye out for them.
So, now that I've convinced you that easy meals are the way to go this summer, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and make this Pesto Romano Bean & Cherry Tomato Salad your own tonight!
Pesto Romano Bean & Cherry Tomato Salad with Burrata Cheese
Time: 15 minutes
1 pound Romano beans (trimmed, if ya feel like it)*
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup pesto sauce (store bought or this is a good basic recipe)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoons sea salt, plus additional for blanching water
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces burrata cheese, cut into pieces
1. Prepare an ice bath by placing ice cubes and cold water in a very large bowl (large enough to fit the beans). Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. When the water begins to boil, add 2-3 tablespoons sea salt and half the beans. Remove the beans after about 3 minutes (using a slotted spoon) and plunge into the ice bath. Repeat process with remaining beans. Once all of the beans are cooled, place on a clean towel to dry completely.
2. In a large bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, blanched Romano beans, pesto, lemon juice salt and pepper until well combined.
3. Place the beans and tomato salad on a large platter and top with the pieces of burrata. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
* Feel free to use green beans or any other type of snap pea as well.